NEW YORK, February 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – New York City's new mayor is continuing his public fight against pro-life and pro-family organizations, this time becoming the city's first mayor in 20 years to boycott the annual St. Patrick's Day parade because organizers will not allow pro-homosexual signs.
On the heels of his support for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's belief that social conservatives have “no place in the state of New York,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters on Tuesday that he is “not planning on marching in the parade,” and that he has not marched “in the past in [his] capacity as an elected official.”
De Blasio said his reasoning was “exclusion of some individuals in this city” by “organizers of the parade.” Parade organizers have said that while homosexuals may march in the parade, activist pro-homosexual groups may not display banners or other means of supporting homosexual relationships.
Catholic League President Bill Donahue snarkily praised de Blasio's decision, saying he was “delighted.”
“I lead the Catholic League contingent every year, and I do not want to march with a public official who does not want to be associated with Irish Catholics,” said Donahue, who noted the parade does not allow pro-life signs either.
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De Blasio is the first mayor to boycott the parade since 1993, when David Dinkins did so for the same reasons as de Blasio. De Blasio told reporters he “will be participating in a number of other events to honor the Irish heritage of this city and the contributions of Irish Americans.”
New York Conservative Party State Chairman Michael Long told LifeSiteNews that the boycott “shows a lack of tolerance and respect for what the parade really means. Nowhere do parade organizers stop homosexuals from marching. They are simply not allowed to march with banners promoting their alternative lifestyle.”
“Nobody checks sexuality to allow marching,” Long continued. “The Parade is going to go on without him. It has gone on without him all these years.” Long said he thinks the boycott is “unwise,” and “shows disrespect for the teachings of the Catholic Church, and St. Patrick, and intolerance for other people's views.”
De Blasio was under pressure to ban uniformed city workers from participating in the parade. He said on Tuesday he would ban no public employees from participating, saying he “respect[s] the right of our City workers to march in uniform – period.”
In January, de Blasio took fire for agreeing with Cuomo's remarks about social conservatives, and compounded what Cuomo said by adding his own comments, including saying that “an extremist attitude that continues the reality of violence in our communities or an extremist attitude that denies the rights of women does not represent the views of the people of New York state.” Cuomo had criticized people opposed to abortion, same-sex “marriage,” and in favor of the legality of assault weapons.
De Blasio did say, “We all understand there’s a right to free speech. I wouldn’t disagree with that right, nor would Gov. Cuomo.”
De Blasio earned the ire of pro-life activists within days of being elected, saying he wanted more abortion clinics open and wanted to close “sham” pregnancy clinics.
The Archdiocese of New York City declined to comment on the mayor's boycott.